Members of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive community have once again stirred up debate about altering the game to become more advertiser-friendly.
There is no denying that CS:GO is one of the biggest esports titles in the world as it has a rabid fanbase and easy to understand concept compared to others. One team playing as the terrorist side is aiming to destroy a bomb site, while the counter-terrorists attempt to stop them, or defuse an active device.
However, using the phrases terrorist and counter-terrorist can be controversial, even if the franchise does have roots that stretch back 20 years. This debate has once again raised its head, with some putting forward changes that could attract more sponsors and mainstream attention.
Following the conclusion of ESL One New York, where victory was claimed by Evil Geniuses, ESL’s Michal ‘Carmac’ Bicharz ran a poll about changing the teams from Terrorist and Counter-Terrorists after Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau argued that they could, and maybe should.
At the time of writing, the voting has heavily favored the current iteration of names, with 69% of over 13,000 voters wanting to keep the names. Yet, not everyone has been unwilling to change.
— Michal Blicharz (@mbCARMAC) September 30, 2019
While many replied to the post with a straight-up no, others like former CSGO and Call of Duty player Alex 'LeX' Deily noted that there could be a positive impact.
In fact, LeX stated that Counter-Strike could very well follow in the footsteps of CoD by using “attack and defend” instead, as it is “sanitized but more importantly, understandable.”
Attack and Defend was always the COD standard. Sanitized but more importantly, understandable.
— sasha (@TheUltraLex) September 30, 2019
Popular CS:GO YouTuber Anomaly also agreed with that stance, explaining that it could have a positive impact on his channel - as he wouldn’t have to use the word ‘terrorist’ in a video, therefore avoiding possible demonization.
However, the Swede also saw the flip side of things, stating that there could be a negative reaction from long-time players as he wasn’t sure “everyone would be so happy” with a change.
It would help with sponsors I’m sure and videos wouldn’t be demonetized for having ”Terrorist” in the title but after soooo many years of T & CT I’m not sure everyone would be so happy with it.
— Anomaly (@anomalyxd) September 30, 2019
Despite some fans understanding the perceived need to change, Counter-Strike map designer FMPONE - who showed off the second iteration of Cache at ESL One New York - wasn’t too happy.
The map designer claimed that “appeasement is absolutely futile,” and that “authenticity is worth fighting for.”
Appeasement is absolutely futile, authenticity is worth fighting for.
— FMPONE :cityscape::statue_of_liberty: (@FMPONE) September 30, 2019
Of course, any change to the game’s current system would undoubtedly be a sweeping one, and Valve would have to consider taking on the thoughts of everyone involved first.
Whether they make a change remains to be seen, but there is clearly understanding from portions of the fanbase already that an update could launch the game’s competitive scene to a whole new level.